PaperCity Magazine

October 2019- Dallas

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Page 89 of 103

L .A. bad-boy graffiti a r t i s t c u m f i n e artist RETNA lands in Dallas this month via an exhibition at the Goss-Michael F o u n d a t i o n . "Dovetail Mortises & La Peluca Grande" is the first exhibition to be presented by Artrinity, a new collective of contemporary art projects, curated experiences, and pop-up exhibitions organized by founders Max Trowbridge, Joyce Goss, and Kenny Goss. When Trowbridge — a longtime fan of RETNA — and Joyce Goss heard rumblings that the artist was interested in showing in Dallas, a flurry of texts ensued. Flights were soon booked to LAX. A short Uber ride later, the duo found themselves in Downtown Los Angeles' infamous Skid Row neighborhood, where RETNA maintains three working studios. It certainly adds to his BY BILLY FONG. PORTRAIT GREG BOJORQUEZ. BAD BOY, BAD BOY, WHATCHA GONNA DO allure and street vibe that he works within such notorious surroundings. Skid Row is, quite literally, a tent city, home to one of the largest homeless populations in the U.S. and has become an epicenter of crime, drug use, and gang activity. Surrounding DTLA's neighborhood of homelessness, however, culture is alive and well: The arts district is thriving — and not too far away Soho Warehouse (one of the Soho House members only clubs) is set to open a downtown location. His edgy studio location presents an interesting juxtaposition, as RETNA has garnered a rather gentrified celebrity posse of friends and fans of his work. In 2015, pop phenom Justin Bieber asked the artist to design the cover for his album Purpose. RETNA has also collaborated with Nike, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton — all brands known to ride the fence easily between high and low, the world of luxury and the street. Born Marquis Duriel Lewis, the self-taught artist has also been known to go by other aliases and tags besides RETNA. His early artistic inspirations took root in L.A., where a friend of his mother's offered a priceless gift. "Mrs. Virginia Howard bought me a membership to LACMA [Los Angeles County Museum of Art] because I would drive her around to her hospital stuff, and she was super Rebel artist RETNA is the wild debut exhibition from Artrinity. Marquis Duriel Lewis RETNA's The Brimstone Chronicles Embargo Series Sixth Sense, 2019 (continued on page 90)

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